I'm doing research (also known as re-reading all the Tamora Pierce novels and short stories) for a chapter/essay thing that I'm writing for FYT Writes A Book. (Heads up that FYT swears, FYT stands for F Yeah Tortall.) It's about neurodiversity and the portrayal of neurodiversity stuff in the Tamora Pierce novels. And... I'm kind of wondering if the whole Trebond line is autistic? I know that autism tends to run in families. At the start of my re-reads, my question was if Thom might be autistic. It didn't occur to me that Alanna might be too, since most of her self-esteem issues as a page can be chalked up pretty well to living a lie. But there are some bits that had me wonder. I know that autistic people who are generally kind of clumsy but spend a lot of time on the one thing can and do get really good at the one thing- Neurodivergent K is just about as clumsy as I am but was a competitive gymnast. And we have it in canon that Alanna was initially clumsy as well as being smaller/weaker, and that she spent lots of extra hours using a much-too-heavy sword learning to use it before she became decent with it. There is perseveration. Thom and Alanna both seem to do it. Neither of them seem to understand other people particularly well, though the way it comes out is different between the two. Thom openly dislies people (or seems to- we do not here from him that he dislikes others, but others have the distinct impression that he only cares about Alanna and himself.) Alanna admits to not understanding people and goes to Myles for instruction on understanding people as she becomes better friends with Myles. She also seems convinced that she will be disliked for the reasons that she is different, and her friends notice this about her. She can't believe that they like her because she is different. This could certainly be explained by guilt about lying to everyone about her gender, but it is also in line with how an autistic person who wants friends and finds people confusing could feel. (Her difficulty with the concept that she may do as she wishes and that friends will defend this is also in line with someone who has received the bullying common to many autistic people.) We also have that Alanna is intelligent and blunt, that she can't control her temper (but often wishes she could!) and has a tendency to overstretch herself, believing herself to be perfectly fine right up to the point of collapse. This lack of awareness of how close she is to her limits is also a common trait in autistic people, and it is a tendency that we see continue to lead to collapse through all the stories where she is the protagonist. So far, I have only re-read the first novel from her quartet, but I suspect the text will continue to support the conclusion that it is autism running in the Trebond line. (Autism was once referred to as childhood schizophrenia and thought to be a form of psychosis. Many lay people still think autism is a form of “insanity,” which isn't a formal diagnosis anyways. It's not exactly a stretch to assume that citizens of Tortall would not be aware of the differences between autism and various things which get lumped together as insanity, so I don't find the fact that the difference in her family is always referred to as insanity to be an issue with the argument that autism runs in the family. Rather, it supports the argument since autism is one of the mental and neurological differences that does run in families, and it must be one of the differences that runs in families.)
Note For Anyone Writing About Me
Guide to Writing About Me
I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.
I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.
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